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Where did all the money go?

Farragut schools typically have fall fund-raisers, but how is all the money spent that has been raised?

At its December monthly meeting, the Knox County Board of Education awarded approval for several purchases to be made in the coming months by the Farragut schools.

Russ Oaks, director of public affairs for the Knox County Schools System, said the schools must get permission for purchases costing more than $2,500. Oaks pointed out that the schools request permission to spend the money regardless of how the funds were raised.

Farragut Intermediate School received approval to purchase 44 printers at a cost of $26,400 with funds provided by its coupon book sales and cookie dough fund-raisers. Principal Robert Frazier could not be reached for comment at press time.

Approval was granted to Farragut Middle School to purchase 15 computer systems and one printer for $14,723 with general school funds.

Richard Dalhaus, principal at FMS, said the money is going toward the creation of a small learning lab, which would be located by the school’s technology center. Funding sources for the lab come mainly from the school’s PTSA and coupon book sales.

“Plans call for us to pilot an instructional remediation program called, “Plato Learning Systems.” The installation of this software and teacher training is being primarily funded by the county’s Special Education Department and will require that we dedicate four periods each day specifically for special education students, which will provide the dedicated time needed to validate the gains that we will be looking to achieve.”

Farragut High School received permission to purchase seven televisions, VCRs and camcorders for $6,118 with funds provided by the school’s social studies account and additional school funds. In addition, the school could purchase video carts and video brackets for $4,536.63 with funds provided by their social studies account.

FHS principal Ed Hedgepeth said, “The new technology will be used by the social studies department with the hope to add additional units next year.”

In addition, last fall the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen awarded $6,000 to each of the Farragut schools from community donation money. The monies were to be used for either technology or playground improvements.

Farragut Primary School will use the funds toward new playground equipment, which will cost close to $50,000, according to principal Emily Lenn. They hope to get School Board approval at the upcoming School Board meeting, “which will mean probably late February or early March installation,” Lenn said.

Hedgepeth said the monies from the town that were given to FHS “went for updated computer equipment in our science computer lab.”

At FMS, the $6,000 was put toward that school’s share of a cost-sharing plan with the county’s social studies department, Dalhaus said. He added that the social studies teachers would receive a multi-media system to enhance and enrich their instructional program.

“Included with the package of hardware,” Dalhaus said, “is a series of five days of staff development training on how to integrate the use of this technology into the instruction in order to make the curriculum a more hands-on and engaging program for the students.”

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